Investigation into pregnancy discrimination at work

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On 4 November 2013, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced that it will be carrying out comprehensive research into the scale of pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work. The extent of the problem is currently unknown as the most recent data goes back to 2005.

Pregnancy and maternity are "protected characteristics" under the Equality Act 2010 and that Act provides a remedy against discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Even so, there are well publicised reports of women being disadvantaged at work when pregnant or on returning from maternity leave and the economic climate may be a factor in this.

The EHRC project will look at existing research, gather new evidence and investigate employers’ practices towards pregnant women or women on maternity leave. The EHRC will also consider ways of raising awareness of pregnancy and maternity rights.